Saturday, 23 May 2020

Saturday Oddments

The Big One Goes Bust
Blog readers may not recognise SLG, but their brands are very well known.
The Group filed for administration yesterday. It is hard to see any other company wanting to buy a business with no customers. Wallace Arnold's travel shops are closed as are all the group's hotels.

No doubt some sort of similar business will eventually re-appear but it is highly unlikely that it will have the same broad range of operations as SGL.

You Can't See The Join?
Now that fbb's re-fettled scenery atop the Peterville tunnel is taking shape, it is time to put the station back together. But there is a problem with the footbridge. The Dapol (formerly Airfix) kit has been around since the late 1950s and fbb decided to put one together as his first "experiment" for an outdoor version of an indoor model railway. It has been outside for more than five years.

But all was not well with the model.
For the last three years, it wouldn't sit level on the ground. It had warped? Does a plastic kit warp like unseasoned timber? Nothing fbb did would straighten it up. In the desperation of a twisted mind, he sawed the thing in half in the middle in the hope that he might find the reason for the twisted bridge.

And lo! It then sat level. The plastic had not warped. fbb had not made it carefully enough and had glued the two halves together in tension - never a good idea with polystyrene that always likes to remain in its "as moulded" state. A bodged glueing with tension on one or both sides of the join will tend, eventually, to do something unwanted with the model.

Out comes the glue and back together the two halves go. But now they don't join up in the middle.
Some of those bits are very much un vertical! Out comes the razor saw plus clothes peg clamp and ...
... it still doesn't fit even when the bits are replaced. But, once again using the skills taught by Billy Bodge and Frank Fudge, something can be created which looks better than a wobbly bridge.
A couple of "steel bars" to "trompe l'oeil" and you can't see the join!

Of course you can if you look closely. Fortunately, from normal viewing distance in a thick sea mist and using mucky spectacles, it is barely noticeable.

And the footbridge stands level on both sides!

One day fbb may buy another one - but it now costs somewhat more than the original price of three shillings.

A Letter From The Boss!
Somewhere in the land of First, fbb, in one of his many guises, is on a database. That dubious privilege means that he sometime receives "official" communications from the deep throat First Bus computer system.

Thus it was that Mr Fearnley himself sent an un-personal message about the virus and likely "improvements" in bus service frequencies. Here is an extract:-
James Freeman, in his staff newsletter, illustrates the screen setting.
fbb thinks that Transdev's version is better.
Either way, there are going to be some altercations as folk are tryng, essentially, to get to work as advised by H M G.

On much the same theme, No 3 son sent one of his little puzzles to challenge and entertain the old man as his father is currently unable to get to the gym, the pub or the weekly meeting of the whippet club.

His email was headed "Social Bustancing" and asked fbb to provide "context".
Thanks to electronically unphotographable route numbers, it was not clear where there bus was going; but putting together fbb's best guess and looking up the address of various Budgens establishments it quickly became clear that this was Perrymount Road Haywards Heath.

Budgens used to be Spar, and still is on a longer distance view c/o Google.
The bus ...
... is one of GoAhead Metrobus' finest ...
... recently repainted into a brighter (and better) livery.
What interested no 3 son were the arrangement for "social distancing".
Hmm. the two unlabelled seats nearest the camera are, surely, closer than 2 metres? In several places in Europe the "social distance" is one metre on public transport.

fbb has yet to receive his lavish prize for correctly contextualising the coronavirus clever camera-work.

Ditto Arriva;-

Keeping Active - Example 1
What do two hulking big grandsons do to keep their minds and bodies active during the crisis. In the case of fbb's twosome, they make a video.
No, fbb doesn't understand it either!

Now, if this were a true blogworthy piece of art, it would refer, not to the porcine creature punted at the video's conclusion, but to a South Western Railway's class 442 train ...
... known to some enthusiasts "of a certain age" as Plastic Pigs.

You Can Blame Brussels ...
... for a very empty, near-disused, possibly to be closed city centre station on a very busy main line.

More tomorrow!

Lovely Lime Street
This is what re-ignited fbb's interest in the Liverpool terminus.
More tomorrow!

 Next "oddments" blog : Sunday 24th May 

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